Nine Chess Positions

Edward Winter

Pottering about in his library the historian will often come across old specimens of play that have undeservedly been forgotten. They may be refreshingly straightforward illustrations of various tactical motifs, combinations of considerable complexity, elegant endgames or, perhaps, mere curiosities. Below is a miscellany of nine such positions culled from our recent pottering.

A correct claim?


Black to move

Forster-Wheeler, Correspondence game, USA

White having just played 23 h3, Black announced mate in 16 moves.

Source: La Stratégie, 15 January 1877, pages 8-9.



White to move

L. Bellotti–G. Tonetti, Rome, 1880

17 Rxg4 Rxg4 18 Bxf7+ Ke7 19 Bd5 Rf8 20 Qh3 Rxf3 21 Kxf3 Nxd4+ 22 Kxg4 Qg5 mate.

Source: Nuova Rivista degli Scacchi, February-March 1883, page 50.

Elegant rook move


Black to move

E. Landesmann-L. Trebitsch, Vienna, March 1897

19…Re5 20 Nxf7 Rxf7 21 Bxf7+ Kxf7 22 Nxe5+ Nxe5 23 dxe5 f3 24 Qf1 Qg3+ 25 Kh1 Bxf2 26 Qxf2 Qxf2 27 Rg1 Qh4 mate.

Source: Wiener Schachzeitung, January 1898, page 15.

Clogged up


Black to move

J. Rose-S.L. Johnston, Chicago, 1898

1…Qc1+ 2 Bg1 Qe1 3 Kg2 Qg3+ 4 Kh1


4…Qf2 5 Bxf2 Kxf2 6 Nf1 Kxf1 7 Kh2 Kf2 8 Kh1 Kxf3 9 Kg1 Ke2 10 Kg2 f3+ 11 Kg3 f2 12 Kh2 f1(Q) 13 Kg3 Qf3+ 14 Kh2 Qxg4 15 Kh1 Kf2 16 Kh2 queen mates.

Source: American Chess Magazine, December 1898, page 281.

‘A witty resource’


Black to move

Allies (J. Rosenthal, M. Rosenbaum and W.S. Morris)-J. Mieses, New York, 2 January 1908

12…Rxd2 13 Qxd2 Qxb5 14 f4 (‘Two pieces are now attacked simultaneously. A witty resource saves them both.’ – Emanuel Lasker.) 14…Qd7 and Black won easily.

Source: American Chess Bulletin, February 1908, page 24.

Rook offers


White to move

Lehmann-P. Krüger, Lightning game, Hamburg, 19 June 1909

1 Ke5 Rf2 2 Rd1 Rf1 3 Rxf1 e3 4 f6 e2 5 Re1 d2 6 f7 dxe1(Q) 7 f8(Q)+ Kb7 8 Qe7+ Kb8 Drawn.

Source: Deutsches Wochenschach, 24 April 1910, pages 154-155 and 1 May 1910, page 162.



White to move

M. Sim-J.S. Morrison, Toronto, 1918

‘A charming finish, that could vie with a Rinck end-game.’

34 d7 Rd5 35 Re1+ Kf7 36 c4 Rd4 37 Re4 Rd2+ 38 Ke1 Resigns.

Source: BCM, July 1918, pages 210-211.

Mating net


White to move

O. Tenner-N.N., Berlin (1921?)

1 c4 Rxc6 2 cxb5+ Ka5 3 bxc6 Re3+ 4 Rxe3 g1(Q) 5 c7 Qxe3+ 6 Ka2 and White won.

Source: Deutsche Schachzeitung, April 1921, page 85.

Rapid mobilization


White to move

D. Elekes-N.N., Budapest, April 1926

A key role in a quick attack is played by White’s least active piece, the knight. 1 Rxf5 exf5 2 e6 fxe6 3 Qxe6+ Be7 4 Ba3 Rf8 5 Nd2 Rf6 6 Qg8+ Rf8 7 Qxg7 Bxa3 8 Re1+ Be7 9 Nc4 Resigns.

Source: Deutsche Schachzeitung, July 1926, page 217.

(Chess Café, 1999)

This article was reproduced on pages 32-36 of A Chess Omnibus.

Latest update: 31 May 2022.

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Copyright: Edward Winter. All rights reserved.